This Irish couple celebrated today as they became the first men to become legally joined under Ireland's new civil partnership law. They are not the first gay couple to get "hitched," as there were some legal exceptions granted prior to this, but they were the first to enter into their union under the general law. Congrats, Hugh Walsh and Barry Dignam!
"Mr Dignam admitted that when the couple originally found out that they were to be the first gay couple who were to avail of the new regime without first seeking an exemption to do so, they did consider postponing the ceremony given the media attention that would inevitably follow.
"'We did have an opportunity to move the date but we felt that we would have been cheating [gay] people who had been through an awful lot of hardship – those who had been ridiculed and even jailed in the past,' he said."
Civil unions are great, but the push for full marriage equality continues in Ireland-- a fact that some aren't entirely happy about, even amongst the gay community.
'"Instead the demand now is for gay marriage on top of this, which the programme for Government commits to exploring. This is not only unnecessary, but verges on selfishness.'
"A wealth of research demonstrates that the marriage of a man and a woman provides children with the best life outcomes, that children raised in marriagees that stay together do best across a whole range of measures. That is certainly not to cast aspersions on other families but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution.'"
It's sad to see a gay writer parroting the lies of the religious right-- studies have shown that gay families not only do not operate under a handicap, but children in lesbian families actually do better in schools than children of straight couples-- but I suppose there are the Chris Barrons of Ireland as well.
Walsh and Dignam: [IrishTimes]
Richard Waghorne: [Broadsheet]